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1. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Contributors
2. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Julietta Rose Is Chalmers’s Zombie Argument Self-Refuting? And How
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In this paper, I will try to show that David Chalmers’s Zombie Argument does not show that property dualism about consciousness is true. I argue that the two main premises of the argument are contradictory, and that therefore the argument is self-refuting. The Zombie argu­ment relies on it being the case that I can only conceive of my Zombie Twin if consciousness does not logically supervene on the physical. Chalmers argues that Zombie Twins are coherently conceivable by eve­rybody, if we only try hard enough, and that it therefore follows that consciousness does not logically supervene on the physical. However, I argue that under one conception Zombie Twins are not coherently conceivable, in which case the argument fails; and that under another conception they are coherently conceivable, but show property dual­ism to be false. In the end, my paper shows that Zombie Twins are not conceivable in the way that Chalmers has argued is necessary, and that they are therefore irrelevant to a discussion of consciousness.
3. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Jordan S. Rubin Can I Get a Witness From the Population?!
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Successful implementation of the death penalty requires the govern­ment to kill its citizens. Not surprisingly, this practice is controver­sial. One of the most polarizing aspects of capital punishment is what some people—proponents and opponents of the penalty alike—see as its ultimate, definitive nature. However, in this article, I analyze a feature of the death penalty that citizens of all political stripes take for granted: the afterlife. First, I attempt to establish the afterlife’s perti­nence to the death penalty. Second, I find that, due to the uncertain nature of the afterlife, capital punishment must be abolished. Third, I propose a replacement punishment, and explore absurd outcomes of my theory to test its durability.
4. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Ayal Tirosh Conflict Cases and the Limits on Corporate Moral Authority
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As they expand their operations to a variety of countries, many pub­licly traded corporations are facing conflicts of moral standards. An obvious example is the recent corporations employing child labor in countries where child labor is morally acceptable. Many argue that in these cases corporations should seek to do what is morally respon­sible. I argue that corporations are unable to resolve these conflicts using moral reasoning where no obvious moral norm exists. Even if it were within their ability to do so, I argue that corporations should be limited from making moral decisions since they have no authority to do so and granting them that authority will have dangerous effects. The literature on morality and its relation to corporations should be on limiting the power of corporations to affect the moral debate so that the interest of the people, not economic interests, will remain the primary focus of morality.
5. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Alex Freundlich “Affirmative Equality”: The Way to Equitable Campaign Finance Reform
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In this paper, I offer a new and cogent argument that would allow equitable campaign finance reform to be constitutional: the Supreme Court, beginning with Buckley v. Valeo, has consistently struck down campaign finance regulations that are necessary for making the elec­toral system as equitable as possible. The Court has ruled that such regulations are unconstitutional when evaluated against the First Amendment right to free speech. Because of past electoral discrimi­nation in colonial and postcolonial America, and because the effects of that discrimination are extant and flagrant, a compelling argument for equitable campaign finance reform can be made. Through a new concept called “affirmative equality,” which is based on affirmative action, I show that equitable campaign finance reform is attainable and that it should be carried out. At the end of the paper, I respond to objections to my argument, and show that these objections are wanting.
6. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Randy Benjenk The Morality of Short Selling
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The controversial investment scheme of short selling has come under fire as a scapegoat for the economic crisis of 2008 despite evidence that it is an economically valuable practice. This paper seeks to explain the moral suspicions of shorting by examining a short seller’s emo­tions. A short seller hopes for negative events to occur that will drive down the price of stock, and feels satisfaction if and when such events occur. These emotions, which I call shorthope and shortsatisfaction, are problematic for two reasons. First, they conflict with a justified norm of proper competition that allows investors to be respected and self-respecting. Second, they can conflict with an investor’s own moral attitudes, creating undesirable moral binds. Because of countervail­ing considerations, these conclusions do not necessarily justify a ban on shorting. They do, however, warrant further philosophical debate about the practice as well as moral reflection by its participants.
7. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Christopher Morgan-Knapp Editor’s Introduction
8. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Chris Brown Change Becomes Essential: Identity in a World that Never Stops Moving
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The Ship of Theseus example raises problems about the sense that things such as tables and chairs exist and how they are able to change. It challenges traditional metaphysical notions about parthood and identity over time. When analyzed, it turns out that the issues raised by this example are fatal to traditional ontologies. I propose a process approach that does not discard the concept of matter entirely that both conforms to our commonsense intuitions about how the world is and is able to adequately address the Ship of Theseus example. Under my theory, the Ship of Theseus actually includes the process that we would normally call a ship and the system of maintenance that is replacing the parts of the ship. I end by arguing that this is a com­monsensical view and respond to objections.
9. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Adam T. Goodstone A Consequentialist Examination of the Circumvention of the Public Will in U.S. Genetic and Biotechnology Law
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The introduction of biotechnology and genetic patents into law in the United States and the European Union has taken two startlingly different approaches. In the United States, it was the judicial system that granted these patents legitimacy. In Europe, the patenting of organic material became a continent wide discussion; with individuals having very strong opinions on how ethical these patents were, as well as questioning their legality. Unlike the United States, genetic and biotechnological patents were granted legitimacy in Europe through democratic institutions and free dialogue. This paper argues it is this inclusion and fostering of the public’s will that was so missing in America that will not only lead to dangerous patents, but more importantly, sets a very dangerous example for the abandonment of democratic ideologies and institutions.
10. Binghamton Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Allison M. Whelan Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Moral Dilemmas of Informal Caregiving